Molly and I like to think we’re living with our very own Atticus Finch. And, though our comparison of him to a character once named the greatest hero in American Film mortifies my husband, Vince agrees that he resembles Harper Lee’s legendary lawyer in one way: the manner in which he is sometimes paid.
A few weeks ago, he walked in the door with a giant chicken, plucked and ready for the oven.
“I did some legal work for a farmer,” he said. “And this is what he gave me.”
Hilarious and not unprecedented, the chicken followed a variety of creative payments from all manner of clients including: a set of theater tickets, an assortment of cheese, an oversized Easter lily, warm schnitzel, fresh trout, Christmas cookies, peach pie and a bottle of rum. Vince’s dad, also an attorney, once accepted payment in the form of a pair of shoes for settling a cobbler’s dispute.
Eight years ago Molly, her brother Vinnie and I read To Kill A Mockingbird, a worthy family project but especially poignant when one little reader is the exact same age as Scout and the other the same age as Jem.
We all found someone to admire during that project – Molly coveted Scout’s spunk, Vinnie Jem’s bravery and I Harper Lee’s deceptively simple portrait an American hero.
We had roasted chicken last night in honor of Atticus Finch and all those other small town lawyers who battle for justice every day, including the one who is going to be very embarrassed by this post.